Victor Oloffson put away two goals and an assist and the Buffalo Sabres topped the Canucks 5-1 in front of a disgruntled crowd in Vancouver on Saturday.
Rasmus Dahlin scored and contributed an assist, while Alex Tuch and Zemgus Girgensons added goals for the Sabres (4-1-0) and Casey Mittlestadt added a pair of helpers.
Conor Garland had the lone tally for the Canucks (0-4-2) with a wrist shot midway through the second.
Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko stopped 22-of-26 shots and Craig Anderson made 29 saves for Buffalo.
The Canucks have now lost six games in a row and are the lone NHL team that has yet to register a win this NHL season.
Three Vancouver jerseys hit the ice in the game’s dying minutes and boos accompanied players as they left the ice.
Vancouver pulled Demko in favour of an extra attacker with less than four minutes to go and Girgensons put an easy shot into the yawning net at the 16:31 mark.
Fifty seconds later, Olofsson put a shot past the Canucks’ netminder for his second goal of the game.
The Sabres regained a two-goal advantage 1:54 into the third off a two-on-one.
Mittelstadt sliced a pass across the slot and Olofsson snapped a shot past Demko to make it 3-1.
Less than 30 seconds earlier, Vinnie Hinostroza briefly appeared to boost Buffalo’s lead. The goal light behind the Canucks’ net went off after the veteran forward’s shot hit both posts and bounced out, but a video review showed the puck never crossed the line.
Vancouver got on the board midway through the second with a power-play marker after Dahlin was called for tripping.
Stationed in front of the Sabres’ net, Tanner Pearson sent a blind, spinning, backhand pass to Garland and the winger fired a wrist shot past Anderson from the low hash mark.
The goal cut the home side’s deficit to 2-1 and Garland celebrated with a massive fist pump.
Vancouver went 1-for-4 on the man advantage Saturday while Buffalo was 1-for-1.
The Sabres lost a defenceman about three minutes into the middle frame after Mattias Samuelsson hit Curtis Lazar along the end boards.
Samuelsson went down awkwardly after the contact and lay writhing on the ice, grabbing his right knee before a trainer came out to help him to the bench. He went directly to the Buffalo locker room and did not return.
A defensive lapse proved costly for the Canucks late in the first.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson gave away the puck in the slot and Tuch was there to pick it up and whip a shot under Demko’s arm to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead at the 15:18 mark.
Buffalo opened the scoring with an early power-play goal after Tyler Myers was called for tripping Tage Thompson.
Dahlin ripped a shot from inside the blue line and the puck hit Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson in the high slot before sailing in past Demko 5:35 into the game.
The No. 1 pick in the 2018 NHL entry draft, Dahlin has goals in five straight games and is the first-ever Sabres’ defenceman to accomplish the feat.
Dahlin is the first NHL defenceman to start a season with a five-game goal streak, but he’s not the only Sabres’ player putting up a string of points early in the campaign. Tuch is on a four-game goal streak with six across the stretch.
BRUISED BLUE LINE
Vancouver was missing three defencemen with various ailments, including star Quinn Hughes (undisclosed). The team called up Noah Juulsen from the American Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks earlier on Saturday and blue liner Jack Rathbone made his season debut.
The Canucks continue their homestand Monday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes. The Sabres visit the Kraken in Seattle on Tuesday.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
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